PDA

View Full Version : The Bad Art (Literature, Music, etc.) Appreciation Thread


Antisocial_Worker
01-19-2012, 01:02 AM
Here are the rules: You may discuss one (1) single work of art, music, literature, drama, etc per post and you may rip it to shreds. You may not rip on an artist because no matter how loathsome their body of work may be, someone out there loves them more than life itself and will take great personal offense to the fact that you don't.

Therefore, discuss a work and hate it all you like. Do not attack the artist.

Now. Here is why I'm posting this.

I recently read a book (http://www.amazon.com/Mania-Craig-Larsen/dp/0786021543/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326933268&sr=1-1) so bad that it offended me.

Why did it offend me, you ask. In short, it's because I can't even remember the last time I read such a cliche-ridden piece of dreck. Entire pages were spent on describing the main character's new girlfriend, who -- the author made sure to point out -- was the most beautiful girl the main character had ever seen. The main character was prone to ruminating on this fact, also, which meant that every so often the descriptions would start up all over again.

Then there was the wooden dialogue and cardboard characters, which went right along with the fact that every character seemed to have their heads stuffed with sawdust. I can't think of any other reason for them to behave so stupidly. To give but one example, at one point the main character is allowed by the cops to tramp around a crime scene, taking pictures of it for the local paper, because the cop doesn't see that it will do much harm. Mind you, this is a body dump in a muddy area, and the main character is leaving his footprints all over the place, but that's okay because he notices other footprints leading up to the body. Thank goodness!

And another thing, what sort of police department, no matter how incompetent, would ferry the victim's 14-year-old son out to the dump site to view his mother's naked, butchered body in situ to make a positive ID? Since the book is set in Seattle, we can only hope that the Seattle PD is not so incompetent or insensitive.

Which brings us to our final gripe. The book is set in Seattle, which is an utterly gorgeous, not to mention fascinating, city... not that you would know this from the book itself. Why? Because it appears that the author picked a city and random and decided to set his book there. As such, the same handful of well-known tourist attractions are mentioned repeatedly -- mostly Pike Place Market -- with the occasional random landmark picked from a map thrown in just for fun.

Other ways that the author wastes his setting is by setting action on downtown streets that don't exist (Seattle has numbered avenues, not numbers streets), setting the action in improbable locales in improbable locations (downtown Seattle is mostly office buildings and department stores, not so much flophouses and "massage" parlors), and it gets even worse when the action moves to Madison, Wisconsin, which is portrayed in the book as a small, rural town.

All in all, we're talking about a book that was appalling in every respect here. I gave thought to throwing it away, to make sure it couldn't ruin another life, but in the end I think I can get more use out of it by trading it in at the used bookstore from whence it came.

MoonCat
01-19-2012, 02:39 AM
http://www.buffalospree.com/Blogs/Talk-about-Arts/Annual-2011/Big-bold-boatsand-a-win-for-the-Albright-Knox/

Here's my contribution.

I think this is the most hideous thing I've ever seen. It's gigantic, too.

I'll admit I'm not a modern art fan. Give me a painting or a sculpture that looks like something I can identify. I've always thought that art should have staying power and should somehow touch the viewer's spirit. I don't see how a jumbled mess of old canoes can pull off either of those.

Kittish
01-19-2012, 06:45 AM
There is one movie that infuriates me beyond any other, simply because it is supposedly based on a book that I love, written by an author that I venerate, and the movie absolutely BUTCHERS the story as told in the book. Had the movie been called pretty much ANYTHING else, rather than by the title of the book that it was supposedly based on, I probably would simply have chalked it up as being just another cheesy grade B minus sci-fi flick; however, because it is what it is I simply cannot keep myself from dissecting this disaster any time I'm forced to sit thru it. Much to the amusement and frequent amazement and even occasional annoyance of my friends and family.

"What book?" you ask. None other than Starship Troopers written by the late, great grand master of science fiction, Robert Anson Heinlein.

I'll skip doing a scene by scene dissection of the movie here, as I'm sure none of you want to spend an hour or so reading my ranting. You're welcome.

fireheart
01-19-2012, 08:09 AM
This is not so much ripping into a series itself, but rather how it was handled when translated to English. Does it still count?

I am of course, referring to the dubbing of Sailor Moon into English.

Ye Gods, could the writers have screwed things over so badly?! And it wasn't just the writers, SO MUCH was cut out from the episodes that pretty much just turned them into the same thing every time! It seemed like DIC were the predecessors to 4Kids, who couldn't even dub Pokemon or One Piece decently! (and that is for another thread). They butchered the story entirely, changing elements that did not need to be changed for any other reason except that they could. WHY on earth did you need to make Sailor Uranus and Neptune COUSINS?!?!?!?! Every other non-English dub handled it SO much better, placing them as very good friends or similar. Oh and it gets so much better: the slang....SO. MUCH. DAMN. SLANG.

And the voices....ugh, DON'T get me started there. Sailor Moon's third(?) voice actress sounded HORRIBLE (kind of like she has a permanent cold), Luna was turned into a Mary Poppins in cat form and the main villain of one of the series, DESPITE originally meaning to be female, was turned into a male and sounded like a Yoda-lookalike.

I swear if Funimation caught on and started re-dubbing the series, it would be SO much better.

Seraph
01-19-2012, 01:48 PM
WHY on earth did you need to make Sailor Uranus and Neptune COUSINS?!?!?!?!

The episode where they did the "lover's contest" made me freak out as a kid. I couldn't figure out why CLOSE COUSINS were making lovey eyes at each other and whatnot. :roll:

firecat88
01-19-2012, 03:42 PM
I am of course, referring to the dubbing of Sailor Moon into English.

Ye Gods, could the writers have screwed things over so badly?! And it wasn't just the writers, SO MUCH was cut out from the episodes that pretty much just turned them into the same thing every time! It seemed like DIC were the predecessors to 4Kids, who couldn't even dub Pokemon or One Piece decently! (and that is for another thread). They butchered the story entirely, changing elements that did not need to be changed for any other reason except that they could. WHY on earth did you need to make Sailor Uranus and Neptune COUSINS?!?!?!?! Every other non-English dub handled it SO much better, placing them as very good friends or similar. Oh and it gets so much better: the slang....SO. MUCH. DAMN. SLANG.

And the voices....ugh, DON'T get me started there. Sailor Moon's third(?) voice actress sounded HORRIBLE (kind of like she has a permanent cold), Luna was turned into a Mary Poppins in cat form and the main villain of one of the series, DESPITE originally meaning to be female, was turned into a male and sounded like a Yoda-lookalike.

Don't forget what they did to poor Naru-chan. Why a Brooklyn accent? Also, as far as Usagi's (I refuse to call her by her dub name) second-or-third VA, I think she was trying too hard to sound like the first one, who I thought was actually not-that-bad.

Also, what was up with making all of the senshi 20% bitchier in the dub than they ever were in the original? I swear, they weren't nearly as mean to Usagi in the original.

I swear if Funimation caught on and started re-dubbing the series, it would be SO much better.

Word is that Funimation *is* trying to get the rights to do the re-dub. And they have improved greatly in the past decade, so I think they would be really good for the job.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

And now for my rant. This is similar to Kittish's in that it involves something that was adapted from a book. Instead of a movie, though, the Dresden Files was made into a rather horrible tv show.

The books had: Vampires, werewolves, pizza-loving fairies, the Sidhe, falling turkeys, and a wizard who is described as 'Dumbledore on crack'.

The TV show had: A vampire. Yes, this vampire was a character in the books too, but they did the character completely wrong in the show. In the book, she and Harry hate each other. In the show, they apparently have a romantic history? I dunno. Also, a lot of elements from the book are changed. Gone are Harry's Blue Beetle car, wizard staff, and talking skull sidekick/assistant. Instead, he's got a jeep, a hockey stick, and Bob has a human form who is not the romance novel-reading perv I've come to love.

I know we're not supposed to rip on specific artists in this thread, but....the fact that Nicolas Cage was the producer of the show explains so much about why the show A) was terrible and B) lasted only one season.

AnaKhouri
01-19-2012, 08:56 PM
I think "From Hell" is a bad movie, a horrific adaptation, and just all around painful (I mean, Heather Graham is the single cleanest Victorian whore I have ever seen).

The film removes every significant detail from the story, combines two characters, uses the Elephant Man for shock value (in the comic he is an actual character), and turns a meditation on immortality and the fall of man into a cheap slasher flick.

Still angry. :rant:

AccountingDrone
01-19-2012, 09:28 PM
There is one movie that infuriates me beyond any other, simply because it is supposedly based on a book that I love, written by an author that I venerate, and the movie absolutely BUTCHERS the story as told in the book. Had the movie been called pretty much ANYTHING else, rather than by the title of the book that it was supposedly based on, I probably would simply have chalked it up as being just another cheesy grade B minus sci-fi flick; however, because it is what it is I simply cannot keep myself from dissecting this disaster any time I'm forced to sit thru it. Much to the amusement and frequent amazement and even occasional annoyance of my friends and family.

"What book?" you ask. None other than Starship Troopers written by the late, great grand master of science fiction, Robert Anson Heinlein.

I'll skip doing a scene by scene dissection of the movie here, as I'm sure none of you want to spend an hour or so reading my ranting. You're welcome.

I definitely agree. Also I Robot. Actually, most SF books being converted to movies.

My entry.

The plot:
Single young woman takes a job babysitting a small roadside motel from closing in september until the owners 'closing crew' can come up to put it to bed for the winter. She gets bored and lonely one evening and turns on the vacancy sign down by the road. The 2 man closing crew shows up and she forgets the sign is turned on. Turns out the closing crew has plans to kill her, and make the burning of the motel look like she fell asleep smoking. Big storm ensues, and our Fearless numbered hero shows up wet and bedraggled looking for a room because his car has broken down. Our feckless heroine has let him in and given hm a room then words ensue as the wrecking crew show up back in the office/living room area of the motel to discover an unplanned addition to their festivities. A bit of lust ensues, and a bit of killing and police arrival and our numbered hero disappears in the chaos ensuing from the killing of the bad guys and the rescuing of the no longer exactly maiden heroine.

How The Spy Who Loved Me ended up with supertankers, submarines, a Caribbean location and hungry sharks, I have no clue. They turned a pleasant little cold war sidetrack story from James Bond into a blockbuster waste of film.

Android Kaeli
01-20-2012, 05:52 AM
I can't watch the current dub of One Piece to save the life of me, namely because I can NOT stand both Robin's and Chopper's voice actors. Stupid reason, I know, but I watched a couple of the Skypiea episodes, just to see how it was compared to the sub, and no. Just no.

The only time I'll watch it again, is when the Thriller Bark arc gets dubbed, just to see how they do the voices then. Please, Funi, don't make Moria sound stupid -- please?

XCashier
01-20-2012, 06:49 AM
Twilight.

Need I say more?

OK, I guess I will. I am a voracious reader, have read thousands of books in my lifetime, many more than once. Only twice have I had to struggle to finish a book; the first one was The Sound And The Fury by William Faulkner, and the second one was Twilight.

Why the struggle? Well, I had to see what all the fuss was about, so I borrowed it from the library. Glad I didn't pay for it. I desperately wanted to bitch-slap both the blatant Mary Sue helpless-damsel-in-distress lead character and her stalkerish, condescending, arrogant, but-he's-pretty-so-it's-twu-wuv sparkly vampire love interest. The plotline was contrived, the dialogue unbelievable, the whole thing read like a twelve-year-old trying to write like a grownup. To be fair, I can almost -- almost -- understand the appeal: people like stories about monsters, and romantic stories, and combining the two, if done by a writer who has a clue, could make a very entertaining read. Sadly, Stephanie Meyer is not that writer, and her story is clunky and overwrought. Twilight was just so unpleasant and uncomfortable to read, the literary equivalent of wearing an outfit five sizes too small in an itchy fabric and horribly clashing colors.

El Pollo Guerrera
01-20-2012, 07:07 AM
The last bad movie I watched (and I do watch a lot of them) was called "Horror Express", with Christopher Lee and Christopher Plummer... and it was so bad it was fun.

It's a story about a re-animated monster running loose on a train, sucking the minds out of people. It's fun, but the science they used to explain the plot is mind-bogglingly insane.

*Here be spoilers*

1) The scientists know that the monster is sucking out memories because an autopsy reveals that the surface of the brain is smooth. Did you know that all of those ridges on the brain are actually caused by your memories?

2) The scientists figure out that the monster is an alien by looking into samples of the eyes of the victims. You see, it's a well-known fact that the eye retains the last image seen before death, so if you take a couple of drops of the eye's inner fluid and look at it under a microscope, you'll see what they saw when they died. ALSO, samples of the eye fluid from the reanimated monster's body (it also can jump from one person to another) show an image of Earth... from space... which CONTRADICTS WHAT THEY JUST LEARNED! :doh: See, if the EYE FLUID has an image of the Earth, that means the alien thingy DIED IN SPACE before it had time to get into the body THAT HAD SEEN IT!.

*Here be where the spoilers end*

And then the movie reaches a point where they figured it wasn't crazy enough, so they add more crazy into the mix.

Two words: Telly f***ing Savalas.

Kojak shows up as a Cossack general who highjacks the train and starts overacting and whipping the crap out of people... it's like he was supposed to appear in a Mel Brooks movie and showed up at the wrong set.

It's such a mess... that it's a blast to see.

Kal
01-20-2012, 08:22 AM
I'd be tempted to list the old classic "Plan 9 from Outer Space" but that film really is so bad it's good so I can't honestly say I even dislike it. :P
On the other hand, I recently picked up the zombie film "House of the Dead II" for 1 in a charity shop, and I think I was overcharged. Zombies have risen and swamped a university due to a mad professor experimenting on them, a team of cliches have been sent in by the secret government to take capture the original infectee and, as is inevitable, it all goes wrong. It'd be a wonderful film for a drinking game, except that at the rate of one drink per cliche you'd be unconscious before it was halfway through. I'd say a zombie actually wrote and directed it, except that they'd not have such terrible dialogue or wooden acting. :P

auntiem
01-20-2012, 08:50 PM
"What book?" you ask. None other than Starship Troopers written by the late, great grand master of science fiction, Robert Anson Heinlein.

I'll skip doing a scene by scene dissection of the movie here, as I'm sure none of you want to spend an hour or so reading my ranting. You're welcome.

You don't have to rant for me since my SO goes on probably the same rant everytime we watch the movie. I think each time it is on tv he thinks that maybe they have finally come out with the director's cut, but no, he is dissapointed all over again and rants thru the whole movie. I don't even have to read the book at this point because I know what is missing.

I could rant about a particular book, but since I have the same complaints for all that author's books it would seem like I'm slamming him which against the rules of this thread.

One thing that will set me off on a big rant is remakes - particularly Rollerball. When the remake was announced I was so excited. I thought that it was the perfect time to re-make a dystopian movie about corporate "government" and the evils there of and update/address the whole ownership of women aspect in the original film to reflect feminist advances in the intervening decades. The original director added the violence of the actual game and the increasing danger of lifting rules because he wanted to show that the corporations were actively trying to kill their player (James Caan's character) to prove no one person can make a difference - hence keeping the rest of us in line. He wins so the movie ends with the Everyman being the hero. Yea humanity! Suck it Corporations!
What did the do in the remake? Make it all about the game, with characters that have no purpose or cause. Cast it with rediculous choices. The biggest goal of the "evil" character? (and how do we know he is evil - he is foreign - that's it). He wants a cable deal. I don't even know how it ended because I walked out.

fireheart
01-20-2012, 11:38 PM
I can't watch the current dub of One Piece to save the life of me, namely because I can NOT stand both Robin's and Chopper's voice actors. Stupid reason, I know, but I watched a couple of the Skypiea episodes, just to see how it was compared to the sub, and no. Just no.

The only time I'll watch it again, is when the Thriller Bark arc gets dubbed, just to see how they do the voices then. Please, Funi, don't make Moria sound stupid -- please?

Imagine what would have happened if 4Kids dubbed the Skypiea arc.

Imagine Sanji with a nasal Brooklyn accent sucking on a lollipop (I kid you not, they had to turn his cigarette into something). Luffy's attacks are ALL renamed for no reason whatsoever, while Zoro becomes Zolo. All the guns are recoloured for no other reason aside from "they can" and all the cleavage on the women is erased. Smoker is renamed Chaser and while they kept Mr. 2 Bon Clay, they tried to downplay him as being crazy instead of being a crossdresser.

MoonCat
01-21-2012, 01:07 AM
And now for my rant. This is similar to Kittish's in that it involves something that was adapted from a book. Instead of a movie, though, the Dresden Files was made into a rather horrible tv show.

The books had: Vampires, werewolves, pizza-loving fairies, the Sidhe, falling turkeys, and a wizard who is described as 'Dumbledore on crack'.

The TV show had: A vampire. Yes, this vampire was a character in the books too, but they did the character completely wrong in the show. In the book, she and Harry hate each other. In the show, they apparently have a romantic history? I dunno. Also, a lot of elements from the book are changed. Gone are Harry's Blue Beetle car, wizard staff, and talking skull sidekick/assistant. Instead, he's got a jeep, a hockey stick, and Bob has a human form who is not the romance novel-reading perv I've come to love.

I know we're not supposed to rip on specific artists in this thread, but....the fact that Nicolas Cage was the producer of the show explains so much about why the show A) was terrible and B) lasted only one season.

Oh, I'll second this!! Don't forget they also turned Karrin Murphy, a petite blonde, into an average-height brunette named Connie! Supposedly the name change was because there was a real "Karen Murphy" on the police force somewhere or other (Toronto?), to which I say SO WHAT! She can't be the only person with the same name as a book character! And why couldn't they find an actress who fit the physical description? It's a very important part of the character's personality, that she happens to be a small, sweet-looking little blonde who can kick your ass six ways from Sunday and totes some serious firepower. Ugh. I tried to like this series but it was so far from what Jim Butcher did with the books. I didn't realize Nicholas Cage was involved. I cannot stand him anyway.

Eireann
01-21-2012, 11:51 AM
Titanic.

One of the worst movies I've ever seen in my life, and I've seen plenty. Overwrought, overdramatic script; piss-poor special effects (those mechanical figures on the ship); enough anachronisms and cliches to sink the real ship, if it hadn't gone down. A woman of 1912 who came from a good family wouldn't even KNOW the "finger" gesture, let alone use it. She wouldn't get involved in a spitting contest. She wouldn't pose naked for a portrait, unless she was a professional model. Things were both freer and more restricted than they are today.

Not to mention the way it turns into a sort of action/adventure flick once the ship starts to sink. Then there's the lack of chemistry between the two leads. The fact that Rose doesn't die of hypothermia, when she's barely afloat on a piece of wood in the North Atlantic in April, wearing a thin dress and a man's coat. She doesn't even experience frostbite.

What a mess. And it won several Oscars, much to my dismay.

Sapphire Silk
01-21-2012, 11:25 PM
"What book?" you ask. None other than Starship Troopers written by the late, great grand master of science fiction, Robert Anson Heinlein.

I'll skip doing a scene by scene dissection of the movie here, as I'm sure none of you want to spend an hour or so reading my ranting. You're welcome.

This. Sooooo this. Starship Troopers was my first thought as soon as I read the intro post.

I love the book. One of my favorites (time for a re-read methinks).

I loathe the movie :puke: RAH is spinning in his grave. It's not an action book. They tried to make it an action movie with a bad WWII war news reel feel. It didn't work.

Rico is Phillipino for gods sake! He's short. Casper Van Dien is tall. Ditto for Sergeant Zim . . . another short character played by a tall guy.

Dizzy Flores is male in the novel, and dies in the first chapter . . . and is seen only in corpse form.

Don't get me started on the rest of the characters.

But what I really miss is the discussion of why we fight wars, and the process of growing up that Johnnie goes through in the novel, maturing from boy to man.



I'd be tempted to list the old classic "Plan 9 from Outer Space" but that film really is so bad it's good so I can't honestly say I even dislike it. :P
On the other hand, I recently picked up the zombie film "House of the Dead II" for 1 in a charity shop, and I think I was overcharged. Zombies have risen and swamped a university due to a mad professor experimenting on them, a team of cliches have been sent in by the secret government to take capture the original infectee and, as is inevitable, it all goes wrong. It'd be a wonderful film for a drinking game, except that at the rate of one drink per cliche you'd be unconscious before it was halfway through. I'd say a zombie actually wrote and directed it, except that they'd not have such terrible dialogue or wooden acting. :P

Ed Wood never pretended to make great movies. I actually like that movie, especially the scene of Bela Lugosi flapping his cape that is recycled at least three times in the movie (Lugosi died during filming).

Titanic.

One of the worst movies I've ever seen in my life, and I've seen plenty. Overwrought, overdramatic script; piss-poor special effects (those mechanical figures on the ship); enough anachronisms and cliches to sink the real ship, if it hadn't gone down. A woman of 1912 who came from a good family wouldn't even KNOW the "finger" gesture, let alone use it. She wouldn't get involved in a spitting contest. She wouldn't pose naked for a portrait, unless she was a professional model. Things were both freer and more restricted than they are today.

Not to mention the way it turns into a sort of action/adventure flick once the ship starts to sink. Then there's the lack of chemistry between the two leads. The fact that Rose doesn't die of hypothermia, when she's barely afloat on a piece of wood in the North Atlantic in April, wearing a thin dress and a man's coat. She doesn't even experience frostbite.

What a mess. And it won several Oscars, much to my dismay.

There were, I believe, a handful of people who survived being in the water, including a ship's officer whose description mirrors that of Jack's when he tells Rose what it will feel like early in the movie.

And if you think a Victorian/Edwardian woman would not know those things, I suggest you read some Victorian porn. ;)

Eireann
01-22-2012, 12:38 PM
And if you think a Victorian/Edwardian woman would not know those things, I suggest you read some Victorian porn.

I don't think that none of the women of her era knew it; as I mentioned, she came from a good family (she would have known it if she had turned her back on her good family and rebelled in every way, but this was a teenager who was so distraught that her mother wanted her to marry the wrong man, she was ready to commit suicide).

Rich vs. poor. True love vs. money. The dastardly fiance. Getting laid in the back of a car. Pretty dresses. Makeup that wasn't used in 1912. A disaster. Finding yourself. The heroic poor boyfriend. Sacrifice.

Oh, puke.

Antisocial_Worker
01-22-2012, 02:40 PM
Rich vs. poor. True love vs. money. The dastardly fiance. Getting laid in the back of a car. Pretty dresses. Makeup that wasn't used in 1912. A disaster. Finding yourself. The heroic poor boyfriend. Sacrifice.

Cliches aplenty, but you had me at "anachronism." Do tell. And not just this but all the others.

Off-topic, but I was in high school when that movie came out and the loveliest girl in school (a free-spirited artist chick who carried around a Mona Lisa lunchbox before they were cool) happened to bear a striking resemblance to Kate Winslet. She scoured all the second-hand and antique stores in town until she found an authentic 1912 red and black beaded ballgown not dissimilar to the one worn in the movie -- and she wore it to the prom.